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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

A sprinkler-fitter puts in a lengthy and arduous forty-hour week. He has spent long, tedious hours installing a fire sprinkler system with his co-workers. At the end of the week, he gets his reward for dealing with the rigorous demands of his job-a paycheck.

When the fitter goes to the bank to cash his paycheck, he finds that there are insufficient funds in his employer's account to cover his check. The fitter has no money to pay for his mortgage, car payment, or any of his other bills. He attempts to collect the money from his employer, but is ultimately unsuccessful.

The fitter, along with his co-workers, who experienced the same problem, seek legal advice and decide to place a mechanics' lien on the property that they have worked so diligently to improve. A mechanics' lien is a way for contractors, subcontractors, materialmen, and laborers to secure the cost of the labor and materials that they have exhausted while enhancing a piece of property. When they file the lien, the fitters discover that their employer has contractually waived the company's right to place a lien against the property. It is now in the court's discretion to determine whether the fitters are eligible for relief via a mechanics' lien, or whether their employer waived their rights.

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